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Full text of "Report on roadblocks"

UMASS/AMHERST 



si 





312Dbb D273 fl312 b 



COMMITTEE ON DRUNK DRIVING 



REPORT ON ROADBLOCKS 



GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS 
COLLECTION 

SEP 1 6 1988 



University of Massachusetts 
Depository Copy 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/reportonroadblocOOmass 



As one of the major crime fighting initiatives of the 
Governor's Statewide Anti-Crime Council, the Drunk Driving 
Committee, through the aid of the State, Metropolitan, Registry, 
Revere, and Boston police began to utilize roadblocks the weekend 
of July 1, through July 4. 

The intent of the roadblock was to alert the public of the 
drunk driving law and reinforce that if you choose to drink, you 
cannot drive without risk of arrest. The roadblocks were to serve 

/ 



as a deterrent to potential drinking drivers, as well as remove 

the drunk drivers from the roads, thus avoiding fatalities on the 

roadways. 

The roadblocks were designed to meet the criterion as established 

by the State Supreme Court in Commonwealth vs. McGeoghegan 38 9 Mass. 

137,143 (1983) which states: 

Roadblock operations conducted by law enforcement personnel 
are constitutionally permissible so long as certain steps 
are taken to insure that the intrusion visited upon the 
motorist does not outweigh the public interest involved. 

In order to comply with the Supreme Judicial Court ruling, the 

following plans were implemented for the roadblocks: 

1. Selection of the vehicles stopped was not arbitrary but 
by a predetermined sequence, i.e. every car or every 5th or 10th 
car would be pulled over. The sequence was determined by the 
roadway traffic patterns. Every driver had the same likelihood 
of being stopped. 

2. The safety of drivers, as well as police officers was 
assured through roadsigns, uniformed police officers, police 
vehicles with flashing lights, road flares, etc. 

3. Motorist inconvenience was minimized. Drivers stopped 
were detained for less then 30 seconds unless there was obvious 
evidence to suspect the individual had been drinking, such as 
the smell of alcohol. 



-2- 



4. Assurance was given that the procedure is being conducted 
pursuant to a plan devised by law enforcement supervisory personnel. 
Only uniformed officers trained in roadblock tactics participated. 

A trained supervisor was also present. 

If more than a set number of cars were being backed up by the 
roadblock (10 or less), those cars would be waived through and the 
sequence would begin again when there was less traffic. 

In addition to the four criteria listed, the State Supreme 
Court noted that while not essential, advance notice to the public of 
the date of the roadblock and the presence of statutory or redulatory 
authority countenancing such procedures would enhance the roadblock 
procedure. 

Thus, the following was also implemented: 

5. Location was undertaken according to a written plan and 
was supervised. 

6. Advanced public notice was given through the media and press 
to reduce surprise, fear, and inconvenience for the motorist. 

The site selections for the roadblocks were determined by areas 
where there is a history of drunk driving accidents and fatalities. 
Further, individual site selection was based on selective enforcement 
identifiers as to time, place and cause of prior serious injury 
accidents. 

Site selections adjacent to rest areas or parking lots, were 
utilized and allowed officers to pull vehicles out of the traffic 
stream without causing a significant intrusion to them or creating 
a safety hazard because of a traffic back-up. 

Selected sites allowed for visibility of on-coming motorists, 
safety for stopped vehicles, as well as safety for the officers. 



-3- 



Alternative sites were pre-selected in anticipation of traffic 
congestion at primary site. 

Finally, sufficient quantity and visibility of uniformed 
officers, "supervisors, and cruisers were available to assure 
speedy compliance, minimize inconvenience and further reduce 
public fear and apprehension. 
CONCLUSION 

The first statewide roadblock held on the weekend of July 1 
through July 4 was lauded as professional, highly publicized, 
causing minimal inconvenience to the public and resulted in fewer 
fatalities on the highway than during the same 78 hour period 
in the previous 20 years.* 

The success of the roadblock can be credited to the very 
professional work and cooperation of State, MDC, Registry and 
local police units across the Commonwealth as well as the infor- 
mation transmitted by the media. Due to extensive media coopera- 
tion and coverage, the public was informed, supportive and receptive 
to the roadblocks. 

There were clear indications that citizens throughout the 
Commonwealth were supportive of the roadblocks and changed their 
behaviors regarding drinking and driving. It was reported that 
more women were driving while their male companions who had been 
drinking were in the passenger seat. At one roadblock site situated 



♦Although there were fewer deaths in 1973 (2) and 1962 (1), it 
should be noted that the official period of recording in both 
instances was 30 hours. 



-4- 



opposite a restaurant, several patrons asked to make telephone 
calls for rides home after dinner and drinks. At another location 
frequented Jay youths who in previous years drank at the beach and 

a', . 

drove home, reports were that they either stayed at the beach or 
with friends living on the beach rather than drive home drunk. 

Although the roadblocks, which stopped 8339 vehicles, led to 
33 arrests, 27 for driving under the influence of alcohol, this 
was not the sole intent of the roadblock. Rather, keeping the 
drunk driver off the road and reducing fatalities was the intent 
and statistics indicate this was in fact accomplished. 

Roadblocks will continue to be held throughout the state, 
particularly around holidays, when festivities may lead to heavy 
consumption of alcoholic beverages. The roadblocks will be 
incorporated into ongoing programs of the Governor's Highway 
Safety Bureau to enforce the law and continue public awareness 
and education that drinking and driving is not acceptable and 
violatiors will be arrested. 



GOVERNOR'S ANTI-CRIME COUNCIL 

DRUNK DRIVING COMMITTEE UPDATE 

SECRETARY CHARLES V. BARRY 

There are many issues that must be addressed now and in 
the future to change the attitude of people on drinking and 
driving. In the past six months we have been approaching the 
problem from a number of directions, most of which will go a 
long way towards convincing people not to get behind the wheel 
when they are drinking, some of those initiatives and the 
results are: 

Setting Drunk Driving Enforcement as a priority among the 
Public Safety agencies within my Secretariat. State Police 
operating under the influence arrests have never been higher for 
any six month period in its history. 

January to June 

1981 1982 1983 ' 

1,455 1,821 +25% 1,938 +5% 

Statewide arrests as of the end of May also recorded all time 
highs. 

1981 1982 _ . 1983 

11,842 13,377 +12.9% 13,740 +2.7% 

We have also seen a tremendous increase in commitments to the 
Houses of Correction throughout the state. 

January to March 

1981 1982 1983 

73 360 615 

The second offender program at Rutland Heights Hospital is 
now operating at near capacity for the two floors that have been 
certified. In the early part of August a third floor is expected 
to be certified by the Division of Alcoholism expanding the capa- 
city of the program by a third. This expansion increases annual 
referrals from 2,200 to 3,400, a number very close to handling the 
entire second offender population. 

Since the letter of explanation and endorsement was sent out 
from the Governor and the Anti-Crime Council on this program in May, 
referrals have increased by 32%. Rutland is a viable alternative 
to jail, offering incarceration and the initial steps towards 
rehabilitation. During the month of June 230 people entered this 
program. 

June Total Referrals 

230 928 



-2- 



Judqe Zoll has directed the District Court Judges who sit 
on operating under cases to visit Rutland Hospital and to attend 
a briefing on the operation of the program. To date, 30 judges 
have spent an average of three hours at the site. 

Of those who enter the Rutland Program, 99% finish the two 
week session and 98% of those are presently enrolled in after 
care rehabilitation programs. 80% of the people who have been 
processed through the program have paid the $37 0.02 fee. 

Motor Vehicle Fatalities have been running very near the 
record setting year of 1982, a twenty-one year low. As of 
June 30th, Massachusetts had shown an increase of 13 fatalities 
or an increase of 4.5% but still far below the 1981 totals. 

As of July 14, 1983, we saw an even greater reduction from 
the end of June now recording only .6% over 1982, or a difference 
of 2 deaths. A number of reasons may account for this, but never 
has one issue been so well covered by all the news media as was 
seen over the Fourth of July weekend and the Road Block Program. 

The primary goal of a public information campaign is to con- 
vince people to do something that will make the highways a safer 
place to travel upon. This was accomplished by the Road Block Pro- 
gram. The public perception was one of awareness of an enforcement 
strategy that would remove the drinking driver. That four day week- 
end there were four fatal accidents, a ten year low. Very briefly 
the results of the Fourth of July Road Block Operation were: 

Cars stopped 8,339 

OUI Arrests 27 

Traffic Citations 57 

Other Arrests 6 



MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE 

OPERATING UNDER ARRESTS 

1981 1982 1983 

JAN 241 307 279 

FEB 241 279 274 

MAR 270 329 370 

APR 251 283 321 

MAY 267 343 379 

JUN 185 280 315 

1,455 1,821 +25% 1,938 +6% 



TABLE 3 



QUARTERLY COMMITMENTS TO HOUSES OF CORRECTION FOR OUI: 1981 vs. 19S2 



Quarter 



1981 



1982 



Difference 



First 
Second 
Third 
Fourth 



73 
57 
81 

84 



360' 
271 
312 
345 



+287 (393%) 
+214(375%) 
+231 (285%) 
+261 (311%) 



TOTAL: 



295 



1,288 



■993 (337%) 



TABLE 2 



COMMITMENTS TO HOUSE OF CORRECTION FOR OUT: 1981 vs. 1982 



Institution 


19S1 


1982 


Difference 


Billerica 


62 


264 


+262 (423%) 


Deer Island 


4 


34 


+30 (750%) 


Charles Street 


1 


2 


+ 1 (100%) 


Worcester 


30 


199 


+ 169(563%) 


Springfield 


26 


93 


+67 (257%) 


Salem 


15 


133 


+118(787%) 


Lawrence 


19 


186 


- -.+167(879%) 


New Bedford 


9 


40 


+31 (344%) 


Plymouth 


21 


63 


+42 (200%) 


Pittsfield 


5 


42 


+37 (740%) 


Dedham 


67 


131 


+64 (96%) 


Greenfield 


6 


19 


+ 13(217%) 


Northampton 


20 


31 


+ 11 {55%) 


Barnstable 


10 


50 


+40(400%) 


Edgartown 


-2 


_1 


+ 1 ( ) 


TOTAL: 


295 


1,288 


+993 (337%) 



/ 



■< 





JLXE 


TOTAL 


COURT 


lU'.fiikKALS 


RKKLRRAI S 


Ames bury 


L 


■4 


.vt t 1 ebon- 


') 


Lb 


Aver 


1 


3 


Barnstable 


«- 

-T 


L6 


Brighton 


7 


13 


:■ rock ton 


9 


25 


Lrookl ine 


5 


8 


Cambridge 


9 


33 


Charl csi own 





1 


Choi son 


"7 
/ 


17 


Chicopee 


1 


S 


Cl in lop. 


1 


7 


< loneord 


n 

j 


10 


Dcdham 


10 


47 


Durcht seer 


' i 


4 


Dudley 





8 


Last boston 


1 


■ j 


■ 'i.-;ar I a .-.'a 


T 

L 


2 


i'alJ River 


3 


1.4 


L : t enbur :■, 







["ram i iv.'/nar 1 


' i 


23 


■ nrdr.er 


1 


5 


Cli-ucesi or 


o 

£. 


6 


i'reat Bai ring ton L 


4 


■ rccnf ie 1 J 


4 


14 


Haverhill 


6 


23 


Kinghnm 


7 


42 


Holyoke 


1 


9 


i psw ! l h 





2 


Lawrence 


A 


19 


Loo 


2 


2 


Leominster 


1 


5 


[.owe • 1 


1 I 


>r -. 


Lynn 


■ i 


\'i 


.iaribor 





1 


Ma J den 


3 


22 


•'•'*Luni>. ip 


al Court. 





COL;' I' KKKERRAL RLPOR'L RUTLAND 
JL'.T.. 198 3 



COURT 



HEIGHTS HOSPITAL 



■•1 L i i o r d 

NaatuckeL 

Natick 

New Bedford 

Newburyport 

New tor. 

Nor tli Adams 

Northampton 

Orange 

Orleans 

Palmer 

Peabody 

Pittsfield 

Plymouth 

Oil i i":y 

Roxbury 

Salem _ 

Somervi.Lle 

South Boston 

Spencer 

Spr ingi ield 

St ought on 

Tiunton 

Uxb ridge 

Weil than 

Ware 

Wareham 

Westboro 

West field 

West Roxbury 

Winchendon 

Woburn 

Wo re ester 

Wrentham 



JUM 
REFERRALS 

5 





3 



3 



7 

1 

2 

7 



4 



I 

1 

3 



TOTAL 

REEKMI'AL 

17 

i 
14 

5 
23 

1 
20 

- 

3 



2 



8 
2 

3 

23 

3 



Losr.cn 



TOTAL 



13 


32 


2 


13 


2 


4 


4 


26 


9 


23 


5 


22 


7 


23 





14 


1 


12 





6 


3 


13 


5 


20 





a 










] 


3 


3 


21 


8 7 





5 


3 


5 



230 



928 



MASSACHUSETTS 
MOTOR VEHICLE FATALITIES 



1981 1982 1983 

JAN 52 48 38 

FEB 63 49 40 

MAR 70 45 51 , 

APR 8) 44 51 

MAY 63 49 56 

50 62 

~T8T """2W 

314 316 

(over 1982) +.6% 
(over 1981) -26% 



JUN 


59 
38$ 




As of 


July 
429 


14th